Yesterday I was plucking away at my keyboard when the doorbell rang. I thought “ugh, another door solicitation”, because we’ve had a lot of that lately. I make my way to the door to find a box. Thought it might be a gift for our daughter, as it was her birthday last week – but no – it was for ME! Don’t you love that? How exciting to have a letter or box addressed to just us, unexpectedly!
The box was from a vegan mama and friend, Michelle Bishop. Now, I have come to now Michelle from the early days of blogging. Back in the “good ol’ days”, of ’05, when cooking blogs were just emerging. Some came and went, but other blogs stuck around for a while. Michelle and I came to know each other through our blogs, and she regularly posted recipes from my first two cookbooks at the time. We both had two children, and were both vegan moms. Over the years, we stayed connected, and celebrated each other’s growing families as we welcomed our third babes.
Michelle is an especially remarkable vegan mom, because not only does she cook vegan for her children, her eldest is type 1 diabetic and celiac. So, this lady works extraordinarily hard to plan and prepare meals that are not only wholesome, but suitable for her boy. I have always thought that “if this mom can manage all that she does to cook for her children, everyone should be able to cook vegan”!
And, Michelle was also one of my fabulous testers for Let Them Eat Vegan. She likes to think that I have taught her a lot about cooking, but truth is she has shared a great deal with me about gluten-free baking. And, I greatly trusted and valued her opinions on my gluten-free recipes in LTEV, because, well, she knows the score!
So, I open this box from Michelle and find this beautiful handmade quilt! I was floored, and thought I was in some kind of dream, because – who does this for someone else?? Apparently Michelle does!
I started to cry. Look at this beautiful creation. The colors, the patterns, look at these artichokes, carrots, peas, and more!…
And, she enclosed a note, which made me cry more. In addition to a note just for me, she wrote this to our girls:
“I’ve hidden some words in this quilt – they are tricky to see – can you find them all? It’s like a quilty word search!”
She sewed these words into my quilt: Hummus, TEV, Vive, ED&BV, LTEV, Tea & Cookies, Ratatouille, Plant Powered, Wholesome, PB Ice Cream, Tofu, Kale
Again – ???!!! I had Rudolph nose most of the day looking at this quilt and thinking of all the thought and effort she poured into this project.
If you look close, you can see the outline to some words here…. on top here you can see the beginnings of “Plant Powered”, and right underneath is “Hummus”:
did you see it? And, here’s “ED&BV”:
Here is “Vive”:
Here are some busy feet while I try to snap photos:
& the “PB” in ice cream is here, just above some little fingers:
I e-mailed Michelle straight away – well, as soon as I cleared away some tears! I thanked her so sincerely for this heartfelt gift, to which she replied:
“I am so glad you like it.. i’ve been so nervous, i have no idea what colours you like, but when i saw this fabric, it just screamed “Dreena!” and all sorts of veggie goodness. The kids helped me come up with the words. I have so much to thank you for!! My parents taught me… let’s see here, very little about cooking, and absolutely nothing about *healthy* cooking. I feel like i’ve learned the majority of what i know from you, your cookbooks, your blog, etc! You’ve been so patient, answering my questions over the years, and chatting about ingredients. Because of all your work, I can now teach *my* kids about healthy cooking! And while I truly hope they stay vegan forever, even if they don’t, I know that they will have a solid foundation, and lots of great recipes to see them through the years. I don’t think you really understand that what you do … well it’s more than writing recipes! You help feed families and teach us all.”
As I said to Michelle, her children embody everything that is good, and healthy, and life-giving about being vegan. And Michelle – you embody all that is compassionate. And, as I write this post, I have your quilt on my lap keeping me cozy… ❤